Store Extra Energy In Liquid Air

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers has announced that liquid air can be used to store excess energy generated from renewable sources. For example, wind farms generate power at night, but since demand is low at that time, the energy may be wasted.

When demand increases the next day, the liquid air can be warmed to drive a turbine, thereby giving the energy back. Engineers say the process can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.

The process follows a number of stages:
  1. "Wrong-time electricity" is used to take in air, remove the CO2 and water vapour (these would freeze otherwise)
  2. the remaining air, mostly nitrogen, is chilled to -190C (-310F) and turns to liquid (changing the state of the air from gas to liquid is what stores the energy)
  3. the liquid air is held in a giant vacuum flask until it is needed
  4. when demand for power rises, the liquid is warmed to ambient temperature. As it vaporizes, it drives a turbine to produce electricity - no combustion is involved.
Highview believes that, produced at scale, their kits could be up to 70% efficient, and IMechE agrees this figure is realistic.

This work derives from the work of Britainís Peter Dearman, who invented a liquid air engine to power vehicles as seen in the following video.

Science fiction fans of yesteryear would not find this idea hard to believe. The idea of storing energy in liquid air and then using it to power engines was used in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.


(Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)

Via BBC. Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for the tip and the reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/2/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...' - Blade Runner, 1982.

CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
'That moisture trickles down...', Frank Herbert, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.